Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

1. Fugazi7 Songs

As a teenager Dischord Records were hugely influential in terms of introducing me to DIY culture and the politics that go along with that. The idea, as we just talked about, of rather than complaining about something not happening, just take the risk, do it yourself. What I always really loved about Dischord Records is that they used to have a little label on their records that said, pay no more than $5 or $10, so it was about that fairness as well. And that they only put out music from Washington, DC, so it was about supporting their local scene, but they made it global, and it spoke to people globally. That’s why I’ve chosen Fugazi because that was kind of my moment, where it moved from listening to your parent’s music to it being something that really resonates for you. And I think if you put on ‘Waiting Room’ now, it’s timeless. It still speaks to me and will get me moving. It takes me right back to being a teenager, but I think it’s cross-generational. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want to have a good dance to that and raise their little fists to the air.

I had a couple of friends that were slightly older than me that were into Dischord and Mudhoney and those sorts of artists, and they introduced me. They also went to art school in London and I grew up in London, and in a way, them going to art school a couple of years ahead of me made me think “Well, I’ve experienced London as a teenager, now I want something that’s my own.” So that’s why I moved to Birmingham to go to art school because I wanted to have a completely different experience. But they were my friends, Dan and Alex. They were very influential in terms of introducing me to this sort of music.

When I first listened to this record, it was more just that the music sang to me, but then as you became more loyal to the label… I feel like that’s the thing, that you trust a label, don’t you? The same with Thrill Jockey or Drag City, you try out the music that they put out just because of the quality of what they’ve done previously. I suppose that relationship with Discord as a label just kept on evolving.

Although they were completely focused on the Washington DC scene, what they created resonated with someone who grew up in Hendon in London. I always think that that’s pretty amazing.

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